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Thanksgiving is typically full of feasting and family and friends. But this year? For most of us, gathering with others to enjoy our typical feast is off the table due to the global pandemic. Even if you are able to celebrate with your immediate family, the day is likely to be tinged with emptiness. And emptiness has a way of diminishing our gratit…
 
With family gatherings just around the corner (or not) for Thanksgiving, Wade and Kevin take a look at a couple of new family dramas that are just hitting streaming platforms this week! First up is Ron Howard's Hillbilly Elegy, starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close. How does the cinematic adaptation of J.D. Vance's bestselling memoir fare in its trans…
 
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off a new miniseries titled Happy, Thankful, People. Each episode of the series includes a special guest who has something specific to share about how we can clear some of the hurdles that come with the holiday season. Barnabas Piper joins this episode to discuss our expectations o…
 
Dust off your chess sets and start reminding yourself of the difference between pawns and bishops because the world of competitive chess is the talk of the town again. Netflix's lends some midcentury glamour to the cerebral, famously nerdy pursuit with its new miniseries The Queen's Gambit, featuring Anya Taylor-Joy as a fiercely ambitious chess pr…
 
Seeing & Believing spend some time on the HBO streaming service this week! First up is Robert Zemeckis's try at remaking Roald Dahl's classic children's book The Witches. Transplanting the story to the 1960s American South and featuring Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer, Zemeckis's new film aims to refresh Dahl's tale of grotesque witches plotting …
 
Sofia Coppola directs the first of several films for A24 and Apple+, On The Rocks which Wade and Kevin review first. The film reunites Coppola with Murray and brings in Office alum Jones as a Father/Daughter pair who are intent on catching Jones' fiancé in the act of betrayal while wrestling with Murray's own history of infidelity. The second half …
 
As Election Day inches closer, Seeing & Believing devotes some time to a movie about the fallout from another chaotic election season: the riots that surrounded the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Aaron Sorkin writes and directs The Trial of the Chicago Seven with his usual verbal flair; does he find the cinematic flair to match? Wa…
 
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson wrap up their For God and Country series. Each episode has tackled an aspect of how faith and politics collide. This final conversation looks at the value and power of a single vote, the one we've been entrusted with for each item on our ballot. Voting truly is a privilege, but in these…
 
It's documentary week here on Seeing & Believing, featuring two new films from Netflix. Wade and Kevin dig into Dick Johnson Is Dead, an intensely personal new film from Cameraperson director Kirsten Johnson. By turns irreverent, playful, and deeply emotional, Johnson's film explores the prospect of death and what it means to say goodbye. The guys …
 
With the amount of turmoil that's typically associated with political conversation and engagement, it can be very tempting to look for a reprieve. Every issue truly is connected to the common good that we're called to work toward. But when every conversation turns into a politically charged exchange, it's quite tempting to demand that others stop b…
 
Detectives are the name of the game on Seeing & Believing this week. Netflix's new film starring Stranger Things' Millie Bobby Brown has arrived, adding to the Sherlock Holmes Cinematic Universe with Enola Holmes. Brown plays the famous Sherlock's younger sister, who embarks on her own sleuthing adventure involving the disappearance of her mother a…
 
Racial reckoning, a threatening pandemic, devastating wildfires... our country is practically pulling apart at the seams. In the middle of all this, we're facing the usual fervor associated with a presidential election. Except this isn't like other presidential elections, because of heightened turmoil of our times makes the discord all the more obv…
 
Perhaps during this series you've become open to the idea that political engagement is an avenue for kingdom flourishing to bring about the common good. And perhaps you've also clarified the sort of nation you want to build with your political engagement. Now we move from theory into practice, because political engagement will actually require you …
 
With Wade on vacation, Kevin calls on Sarah Welch-Larson this week to help make sense of Charlie Kaufman's latest brain-bender. I'm Thinking of Ending Things, now streaming on Netflix, features Kaufman's trademark metafictional flourishes and thematic concerns; does it stand alongside Synecdoche, NY and Anomalisa in pulling off the balancing act be…
 
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson dig into the For God and Country series. In this conversation, Erin and Hannah look to the pain points Christians are feeling and use them to unearth the way fear can sway our political leanings. In Christian circles, there has been increasing concern about religious rights and freedoms…
 
The calendar says that summer is drawing to a close, but Seeing & Believing refuses to accept it! Blockbuster season goes on as the guys take the plunge on the Disney+ exclusive Mulan, the latest live-action remake of a Disney animated feature. The "Summer of Darkness" also continues with a review of Brick, Rian Johnson's 2006 debut, which sets the…
 
In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off their fall series called For God and Country. Each episode of the series will tackle an aspect of how faith and politics collide. To get the conversation started, Erin and Hannah host fellow Christ and Pop Culture writer Kaitlyn Schiess. Kaitlyn is a seminary student and bright…
 
Brush up on your air-guitar skills and get your SoCal dude-accents ready, because Seeing & Believing embarks on another excellent adventure this week. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter may be getting a little long in the tooth, but that doesn't mean they can't bring their iconic slackers back for another victory lap around time and space. Wade and Kevin…
 
Humor has been rather hard to find in 2020. We've had month after month of very serious happenings. When the world is falling apart, laughter feels wrong—even callous. Serious things call for a serious countenance... right? In this episode of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson kick off a late summer miniseries called Getting By. Each episo…
 
As election season spins up in earnest, the guys get into the spirit of the season with a new documentary. Boys State explores what happens when over a thousand bright high school boys from Texas get together to form their own two-party government: is it more Frank Capra or more Lord of the Flies? Also on the docket is the next installment in the "…
 
Our current moment of political, social, and even religious upheaval has been isolating in many inexplicable ways. COVID-19 restrictions have eliminate many of our opportunities to build friendships and network with colleagues. Many of us are now working, schooling, and worshiping from home, severing limiting our social circles. As a result, psycho…
 
Back from their one-week break, Wade and Kevin continue their Summer of Darkness series on film noir by crossing the Atlantic to check out Elevator to the Gallows, the Miles Davis-scored noir that launched the careers of director Louis Malle and star Jeanne Moreau. Also lighting up the screen this week is the new release Tesla, an…
 
In polite conversation, when someone greets you and asks how you are doing, the typical, benign reply is to say you "are doing just fine, thanks." But today, that reply feels disingenuous at best, considering the global pandemic, the racial reckoning across our nation, and the general polarization in society. Saying we are doing just fine, even whe…
 
After four months of navigating COVID-19 worries and addressing societal inequalities, it seems that most of us are embracing the reality that our world is forever changed. We're learning new ways to work, build community, celebrate milestones, and more. But none of it is easy or second nature. It's actually quite difficult. Most of us are getting …
 
Two very different kinds of family melodramas are featured in this week's episode. First is actor James D'Arcy's directing/screenwriting debut, the Liam Neeson-starring Made in Italy, about a roguish artist, his estranged son, and the dilapidated villa in Italy they try to sell together. The other film this week is about a roguish salesman who gets…
 
This week, Seeing & Believing kicks off a new series on film noir! Our "Summer of Darkness" begins in a slightly unconventional place with the Humphrey Bogart-starring In a Lonely Place, about a hotheaded screenwriter whose romance with a neighbor hits a rough patch when the police accuse him of murder. The thing is, maybe he is guilty? The guys al…
 
Whether your tastes run toward the blockbuster or the literary, there's a review for you this week. Wade and Kevin sit down with Netflix's superhero-adjacent action flick The Old Guard, starring Charlize Theron as the leader of a band of immortal, Wolverine-like warriors. They also take some time for Flannery a documentary chronicling the life and …
 
Kelly Reichardt's latest film has finally made its way to a home release, and the guys are ready for it! First Cow, a period piece about two friends trying to eke out a living in the hardscrabble Oregon Territory by milking a rich man's cow on the sly, has a lot to say about our present moment. Listen to find out why Wade and Kevin think it's one o…
 
In any other summer, a Tom Hanks-starring, Tom Hanks-written movie about World War II would be the biggest movie of the weekend. This is not a typical summer, but Wade and Kevin are still interested to see what Hanks serves up with Greyhound, a thriller about a naval captain braving the high seas of the Atlantic while fending off a swarm of German …
 
It’s hard to acknowledge an offensive joke. You’ve failed on two fronts: you weren’t funny and your words were harmful. It contradicts stories we tell ourselves, like “I wouldn’t make a racist joke” or “I couldn’t be sexist.” In this episode, Ben shares how the practice of confession has helped him recognize his own harmful material and the structu…
 
Whether you're in the mood for a quiet family drama or a silly over-the-top comedy, Seeing & Believing has you covered for the Independence Day weekend. First up is The Truth, Hirokazu Kore-eda's follow-up to his Palme d'Or-winning Shoplifters and his first non-Japanese-language project. With a star-studded cast that includes Juliette Binoche, Etha…
 
What can we joke about? How far is too far? Our answers tend to be personal, which makes it hard to discuss why some humor is offensive. In this episode, Ben shares his search for an ethical framework that allows for great comedy, lines up with his Christian faith, and makes sense to collaborators with differing beliefs. Written and recorded by Ben…
 
Seeing & Believing has a seasonal special for you this week! With the presidential election looming on the horizon, Wade and Kevin take a look at the latest cinematic political satire, this time from the mind of former Daily Show host Jon Stewart. The guys also celebrate the 45th birthday of Jaws with a retro review. In case you needed another reas…
 
Spike Lee’s latest film for Netflix has been causing a sensation, and this week Wade and Kevin check it out. Da 5 Bloods, a sprawling look at the legacy of the Vietnam War for black Americans, is Lee’s follow-up to his Oscar-winning BlacKkKlansman. The guys do a deep dive on Da 5 Bloods‘ themes and startling spiritual vision. On the more low-key si…
 
Buckle up for terrible space puns, because they're in plentiful supply in today's episode. Wade and Kevin tackle Space Force, the new comedy series from Netflix, Greg Daniels, and Steve Carell. With Carell taking on the clenched jaw and jingoism of the first commander of America's fledgling outer-space military program, this series takes a stab at …
 
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, two favorite filmmakers of Seeing & Believing, have a new film out, so of course, the guys are on the case! Wade and Kevin take a close look at the Dardennes' story of a young teenager who is attracted to Islamic fundamentalism, and they discuss its spiritual underpinnings, its compassionate perspective, and where it f…
 
Many people are still homebound these days, which means it's a perfect time for an escapist movie about two friends traveling to picturesque locations and eating at incredible restaurants. Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are back for a fourth go-round with the Trip to... series, this time retracing Odysseus's steps through the Mediterranean paradise of…
 
Fresh off their "2020 auteurs" series, Wade and Kevin get back to basics with a review of a freshly released film: Josh Trank's biopic of Al Capone. Trank returns to small-budget indie filmmaking by writing, editing, and directing this unconventional examination of the last year of the infamous gangster's life. Faced with his own physical and psych…
 
Wade and Kevin wrap up their series of director retrospectives with a look at the work of America's foremost purveyor of immaculately framed family dysfunction: Wes Anderson. The guys look ahead to the upcoming The French Dispatch by working their way through Anderson's filmography, from Bottle Rocket to The Grand Budapest Hotel.…
 
The first rule of David Fincher movies: you always talk about David Fincher movies. The second rule of David Fincher movies: you always talk about David Fincher movies. In this week's episode, Wade and Kevin look back at the career of the director of Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, and more! Listen in to find out which of Fincher's films ri…
 
Wade and Kevin continue their series on modern directors with upcoming new releases with a retrospective on the filmography of Kelly Reichardt. Reichardt is a powerhouse of indie filmmaking whose quiet, unassuming style belies the sharpness of her storytelling and observational abilities. From River of Grass to Certain Women, Wade and Kevin rank Re…
 
With the South Korean marathon in the rearview mirror, Wade and Kevin look to the future: specifically, the new movies coming in 2020 from some big-name directors! With Christopher Nolan eking out a win in the listener poll, the guys prep for his upcoming summer release Tenet by taking the long view of his career, from Following to Dunkirk. Listen …
 
The guys bid a sad but fond farewell to their South Korean movie marathon this week, closing with Lee Chang-dong's Secret Sunshine. It is the story of a woman who turns to evangelical Christianity after suffering a loss, it's a very appropriate film to add to your Holy Week viewing. Plus: a preview of what's next for the show and a request for feed…
 
We’re a people that loves to manage every scenario and have backup plans for every contingency. So what happens when the whole world screeches to a near halt and all the data we’ve used for decision making is no longer valid? Well, for most of us, this has produced a not so insignificant level of anxiety. As much as we like looking ahead toward the…
 
Loss and grief are central to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve lost loved ones, jobs, freedoms, and security. Some have lost their wedding dates or vacations. Some have lost sleep or a sense of purpose. Discouragement is common as we all scramble to find meaning in the midst of a crisis. This collective grief weighs upon our society, stretching it thin…
 
COVID-19 has taken away so much from us, including our sense of control. Our plans have been cancelled, and our movements are restricted. We can no longer go where we want when we want with whomever we choose. Loss of control may make us angry or fearful or frustrated (or all of those!). In its absence, we begin to play games of If Only or What If …
 
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